By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — Genesis Behavioral Health has withdrawn its offer to purchase the privately owned portion of the downtown parking garage, putting a fresh twist in the process of repairing and improving the facility.
The city owns the ramps and north end of the second and third levels of the garage while the ground floor and the south end of the second and third levels along with seven commercial units on the ground level, are privately owned by Downtown Crossing LLC.
Last year, Genesis entered into a purchase-and-sales agreement to purchase the privately owned section of the facility for $1.1 million and convert the space leased to the Grace Capital Church to house its administrative operations and and clinical services. With the discovery of structural deficiencies requiring repairs to both the public and private portions of the garage, Genesis approached Daniel Disangro, the principal of Downtown Crossing LLC about either bearing the cost of repairs to the private portion of the garage, which are estimated at $300,000, or discounting the sales price of the property by a comparable amount. .
Kristen Welch, director of development and communications at Genesis, said Monday that "the owner's proposal did not meet our needs or our timeline." Likewise, Kevin Sullivan of Weeks Commercial, who represents Disangro, said he was informed that "unfortunately, the logistics and timing associated with that proposal do not fit with our needs or schedule."
"The property is back on the market," Sullivan said, adding that the listing price remains $1.1 million.
Genesis intended to finance the acquisition and conversion of the property with the proceeds of a $5.5 million bond issued by the New Hampshire Health and Educational Facilities Authority. Maggie Pritchard, executive director of Genesis, said that the agency is looking at alternatives in hopes of acquiring a property this year, when the necessary funds are securely in hand. She said that if a transaction is not closed before January 2016, the agency would have to seek an extension or reapply for the funding.
Meanwhile, last month the City Council agreed to proceed with designing and engineering repairs and improvements to the garage at a cost of $150,000, without an assurance that the owner of the private section of the garage will bear the cost of repairing its share of the facility. Without a sale pending, the urgency of proceeding with repairs has eased. City Manager Scott Myers said that city officials will turn to seeking an "equitable arrangement" with Disangro to share the cost of the work.
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